It’s Our Habits, Not Our Healthcare
Redington Jahncke explains why “skepticism turned out to be the correct impulse in the case of the WHO rankings” of nations’ healthcare systems, as well as in the case of a Commonwealth Fund study of the “health of nations.” It’s his conclusion, though, that points toward a new question about Obamacare:
Indeed, lifestyle and behavioral factors, including unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking, etc., are the prime causes of America’s number one killer — heart disease. And the reversal of these factors is as important in preventing death from heart disease as any medical treatment. A doctor cannot “administer” lifestyle changes and behavior modification the way he can administer drugs.
Let’s put aside, if we can, the probability that the Democrats’ healthcare plan, whatever it ultimately turns out to be, will drive costs up even more while decreasing the effectiveness of the healthcare system overall. If we concede that lifestyle and behavior are critical contributors to health — and how can we not concede it? — then what sort of system would be more likely to encourage healthy behavior: A system that requires financially painful, but not physically fatal, treatments and procedures, or one that hides their costs in a combination of employer withholdings and welfare?
A more frightening question: How will the government seek to make you live more healthily when it turns its giant eye toward that problem?